PNG NEWSPAPER STANDS BY STORY ON SOMARE DYNASTY

Editorial

PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Feb. 1, 2010) - THIS newspaper believes in reporting what it believes is really happening in life in Papua New Guinea, whether it is at grassroots society level or in the stratosphere of political life.

That is why we are proud of our recent deliberate program to include much more reporting on human interest issues, the things that show what is influencing people to do on real-life issues and how they are coping with life. Yet we cannot forget what is happening at the upper levels of our leadership.

That is why we reported last week on disturbance in the parliamentary corridors among the National Alliance members of Parliament and those close to them, about the brewing discontent about a replacement for the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

Sir Michael has hit back strongly, accusing our reporter and the Post-Courier of being stupid. That is his right, as it is the right of any person who feels badly about our reports.

We stand by our report because we know that there is disquiet within the Alliance ranks about the prospect of State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare being given the leadership of the Alliance and thereby the leadership of the country, to succeed his father.

We have no opinion on Mr. Somare’s capacity to do the same or better job than Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

We have only reported on the moves being made behind the scenes by others to persuade Sir Michael to step down in favour of his son.

It may not happen. The ones who are lobbying to prevent such a succession may be persuaded to stay with the Alliance and to go along with whatever the party caucus decides later this year. It is the very nature of politics for players to try various plots and to move from one sphere to the other and then, eventually, work out a compromise solution.

As Moresby North East MP Andrew Mald says, there should be nothing to stand in the way of a younger politician from attaining the highest office in the land. We do not have to wait for an elected politician to sprout white hair before we consider that person as a potential prime minister.

Ability, some experience and a proven capacity to step up to higher duties should be major factors to consider when anointing a new leader of the nation.

Sir Michael himself was only in his mid-30s when he became the Chief Minister, two years before we attained Independence.

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